a restaurant critic on the year that changed him forever

During his time as a restaurant critic for The Times, Pete Wells has become both feared and revered in the world of dining — crowning those at the top and dethroning those whose time has passed.

But when the pandemic arrived, handing out stars to fancy restaurants made no sense anymore. A fundamental change was needed.


  • Pete Wells, a restaurant critic for The New York Times.

Lanna Apisukh for The New York Times
  • For the return of The Times’s star ratings this year, Pete Wells visited La Piraña Lechonera, a weekend party in a Bronx trailer where one man serves up the rich flavors of Puerto Rico.

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Pete Wells contributed reporting.

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